Family calls for changes to Silver Alerts

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OKLAHOMA CITY — One day after a missing Kingfisher woman was found dead in her car, another family is speaking out in favor of changing our state’s silver alerts.

Betty Simon, 76, had been the subject of a nationwide silver alert for more than a week.

Saturday morning, her car was discovered flipped upside down in a creek under a bridge near NW 178th and Council.

Joe Ledgerwood’s mom, Betty Ledgerwood, went missing in October of 2007.

“They found her five days later on a Tuesday morning in Norwood, Missouri, laying dead next to her car,” said Ledgerwood.

His mom suffered from dementia and she put a face to legislation being proposed at the time to start silver alerts in our state.

“My daughter, who now lives in Tampa, Florida, worked with the silver haired legislature and Dorothy Castle and various other people and got this through,” said Ledgerwood.

Ledgerwood knows first hand the agony Betty Simon’s family just went through.

And he now agrees with Simon’s family that one detail of silver alerts needs to change.

“I just think that the commission just really needs to give a second look at their consideration for having a silver alert on highway signs,” he said.

Simon’s family had asked for the silver alert to flash on highway signs, but was denied, because right now it’s only allowed for amber alerts in our state.

Ledgerwood says the worst part about having a loved one go missing is the unknown.

“Pure torture. The thing that I thought about the most was like what happened to Mrs. Simon, that she drove off into a lake, into a creek, somebody abducted her and killed her.  The not knowing was the worst part.”

Ledgerwood says he felt a connection to Simon’s family.  Both women had the same name and were around the same age.

He was sorry for the outcome of Simon’s story, but relieved the family had closure.

And he now vows to work with them to make silver alerts an even bigger priority.

“Especially people with medical conditions and at that age, yes, every minute, every second counts.”

Ledgerwood says his daughter that helped push through the silver alert legislation now lives in Florida.

And she says both amber and silver alerts flash on highway signs there.

They’re hoping Simon’s case helps bring about that change here as well.

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